Bits and pieces of my Alt Summit panel: Being a Contributor

Being a Contributor

Well, it’s officially been OVER a week since I got home from Alt Summit. As usual, it was inspiring and fantastic. I had a blast! This year I spoke on a panel to share some info for any bloggers looking to land a job as a contributor/freelance worker on other sites. I was joined by 3 other lovely ladies: Capree, Melanie, and Victoria. We had a TON to share… so much that it would probably take up about 4 different blog posts. I won’t talk about all the info with you, but I will share a few bits and pieces (the full panel notes will probably be up on the Alt Summit blog soon). Enjoy! AND, if you have any questions… feel free to leave a question in the comments.

Being a Contributor
How we got here:

  • – Capree responded to a call for contributors, and submitted a post to a big site.
  • – Victoria built a site and projects and shared her work with anyone who would have her.
  • – Chelsey was approached by companies that liked the original projects and DIY’s on her site.
  • – Melanie grew her audience and became more marketable, networked and asked for introductions.

Alt Summit Panel

How to be approachable:

  • – Find your own authentic voice: A strong, unique voice in a sea of blogs will get you noticed.
  • – Engage! Put yourself out there and engage with other bloggers, big and small.
  • – Don’t be afraid to start small Consider guest posting on the “smaller” blogs, not just the “big” blogs.
  • – Lookin’ good If someone found your project on Pinterest, would they recognize it as your photography/font/graphics style?
  • – Cold calls Interested in guest posting on a favorite blog? Ask if they’d ever consider taking a contributor.

Being a contributor

The art of the pitch:

  • – Get to know people one on one, in person locally and at conferences.
  • – Networking is vital.
  • – Be confident. Be persistent. Be tough.

Workin it
What to expect:

  • – Be comfortable working on a variety of blogging platforms.
  • – Your posts will likely be submitted for review, either through email or a post draft.
  • – Each person/company you work with will be different.
  • – Some may have traffic goals, some may not.

Being a contributor
What Editors are looking for:

  • – A unique perspective and a strong voice
  • – Writing skills!!!
  • – Passion and Energy
  • – Creativity and Initiative
  • – BONUS: mad photography skillz.

Good Working Relationships:

  • – Keep those deadlines: You’re representing your business and brand, make sure you look good.
  • – Communication
    • + If you have any questions, ask.
  • – Be Professional

Producing Fresh Ideas:

  • – Find inspiration and stay original.
  • – Set hard deadlines for yourself.
  • – Know your limits.

Producing and Balancing Content between Sites:

– Consider keeping specific topics to specific sites.

– Think about topics you’re knowledgeable in but not currently covering on your own blog.

Makin it rain

Value of working relationships and networking v. pay:

Providing free content?

– Weigh the benefit of possible exposure and networking opportunities and decide if it’s worth your time

+ Will this site send me enough “traffic profit”?

+ Is this blog/company someone I’d like to build a relationship with?

– Consider agreeing to a trial period (3-6 months, depending on post frequency) and then evaluate.

Providing a post for a friend

    • – Decide if you have enough time, or if it cuts into other work.
    • – Decide if you have enough time, or if it cuts into other work.
    • – It’s good practice.


– Always negotiate

– Talk numbers with confidence and value your work.

– They are paying for creative genius and that is costly!

– Contracts

  • + Always have one
  • + Key elements to look for
  • + Important points to negotiate
  • Setting Rates and Knowing What’s Fair:
  • – Don’t sell yourself short. You are valuable!

Being A Contributor


I was so happy with how the panel went. Gotta be honest: I was so freakin’ nervous. Speaking in front a large crowd of people isn’t usually something I LOVE to do. After the nerves wore off, it was great! We had a great turnout of people… I mean, look at all of them:

Alt Summit Panel

Alt Summit Panel

ANDplusalso… one more thing. Here’s the crazy outfit I wore for my panel day… I have titled this outfit: Crazy Aunt Louise!

Alt Summit Panel

Alt Summit Panel

//Heart cardigan: f21//Dress: Anthropologie//Tights: Target//Shoes: LuLu’s//

Happy Monday,


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17 Comments on "Bits and pieces of my Alt Summit panel: Being a Contributor"

February 11, 2013

Great post – really good to read about how you guys all got there and the tips to reach it! Thank you!! And thanks for the contributor links, very useful!


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February 6, 2013

Thank you so much for sharing this recap.
I loved this session and took lots of notes.
I appreciated the candid honesty and willingness to share your knowledge.
Sessions like this make Alt even more amazing then it already was.

February 7, 2013

Awesome! I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

February 5, 2013

Great post, wonderful tips.

February 4, 2013

You're seriously adorable and such an inspiration!

February 4, 2013

That's an amazing opportunity . I LOVE your outfit and style btw!

February 4, 2013

Thank you. <3

February 4, 2013

I love it… and, am so jealous about you getting to be on a panel with some of the bloggers I've been following for FOREVER. I did a double take to see someone I actually know IRL sitting near people I've blog stalked for so long. 😉

Thanks for the tips on the topic. It is something I've been interested in for a LONG time!

February 4, 2013

Those ladies are so sweet!

February 4, 2013

I have those same tights! Love that outfit, by the way — it speaks to my fashion sense. 😉

February 4, 2013